This breed originates and takes its name from the Spanish province of Andalusia and is one of the oldest of the Mediterranean breeds. They were imported to Britain in 1846 and were shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851. The blue colour comes from a hybrid cross between the black and white varieties. When two blue birds are mated, 50% of hatchings will be blue while the remainder are black or white. Gregor Mendel actually used this breed in his experiments into colour heredity. To be absolutely certain of getting blue offspring, you need to cross a white cock with a black hen. The breed is usually referred to as the Blue Andalusian and was known at one time as the “Blue Minorca”. They are very pretty birds, with light and dark blue plumage and an upright, elegant and graceful appearance. The hackle and saddle feathers are dark blue while the breast is a lighter shade of blue. The feathers are laced which defines them beautifully while the tail, which is carried at 45°, and sickle feathers are almost black. The face and wattles are red but they have white earlobes. They have slate blue legs and toes and there is also a bantam version available.
Andalusians are small, active birds which can be rather noisy and although they are still quieter than many of the Mediterranean breeds, the noise factor may need consideration. The hens lay early at around 5 or 6 months of age but they don’t go broody often so aren’t natural sitters. Chicks are hardy and mature early and they make excellent backyard birds although they can be rather flighty so make sure that your boundaries are sound and high! They are calm birds and the males don’t usually fight with each other but they don’t like to be overcrowded so provide them with plenty of space to avoid problems with bullying. They don’t really enjoy human contact and prefer free ranging to confinement as they are good foragers and economical feeders. They are hardy but their combs can suffer from frostbite so care should be taken when temperatures plummet and exposure to a lot of sun can fade their plumage so positioning their runs in the shade is a good idea. They are layers of large white eggs and will produce somewhere in the region of 160 eggs per year, continuing to lay during the winter months. Cocks weigh an average 7lbs while the hens are 5½lbs.
Blue, black and white
Andalusian For Sale
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Latest Reviews For Andalusian (3 of 3)
Very pretty, but wasn't a match for us. - Dixie,
We had 5 Blue Andalusian hens and one roo. The hens were decent layers, and despite their reputation as a non-setter, one hen managed to not only clutch 15 chicks, (she hid her nest), but raised them to about 3 months old, when a predator took out the lot of them (we think it was racoons). The hens were very good at foraging, but we found them to be rather nervous, almost wild in their behavior. They frequently refused to head to the barn at night, instead roosting up in the trees. The rooster was gorgeous, but quite aggressive. We had to watch out for children and adults alike around this bird. He met his end after spurring my husband through his heavy jeans. Not great for those looking for a mellow-temperament breed, but they were definitely thrifty, and if you happen to get the odd maternal hen, they are amazingly good broodies.
Your information is not 100% accurate - Sian,
Firstly, the breed was created in Britain from Spanish stock. Secondly, to get 100% blue you can either breed a black cock to white hen or reverse. However, this will result in the washed out blue of hatchery birds. The only way to get good color is to breed blue to blue. Thanks!
Best Egg Layer I have - Karen,
These are great birds for large white eggs very easy to keep. But they do like to sleep in trees what ever the weather. So if your thinking of these for the garden you will have to clip their wings. The Males can be a little sharp but the hens are great. there great forages and eat very little so very cost effective to have. I would never be with out them now for eggs and they don't go broody even better.